Monday, June 30, 2008

Bright Lights, Small City - a Congressman and his Nokia 95

I thought I'd share something from my new close personal Twitter friend John Culberson. Perhaps you've heard of him.

Representative Culberson tweeted the following:

I will find out if I can Qik treasures like TRoosevelt's diary, Lincoln's pocket contents, Lee's Lost Order at Antietam etc

I replied:

@johnculberson as long as you can qik the documents without additional lighting, it should be allowed.

Culberson responded:

@oemperor Yes but the red light on my Nokia 95 is VERY bright and makes Congressmen very nervous

While I still suspect that the newer technologies will have a greater effect on the local level than on the national level, Rep. Culberson's perspective is interesting - especially if you believe that "smoke-filled rooms" and private discussions have no place in modern politics.

But then again, perhaps some level of privacy regarding Congressional discussions does serve a purpose at times. I'll mull over this and maybe write some more - but if someone has already written about this, it would be easier to steal that.

This actually may be a technology-independent question. I'm sure that Presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson faced similar issues. While a certain amount of political discourse needs to be on the record, is it sometimes beneficial to have some discussions behind closed doors? If so, can technology (tape records, video-creating telephones, etc.) actually DISRUPT the inner workings of government rather than streamlining it?

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